Why Trump insulted Modi by refusing R-Day invite..Congress mocks PM for shaming India

Washington, Oct 30: US President Donald Trump is unable to participate as the chief guest for India's Republic Day celebrations next year due to scheduling constraints, the White House said on Monday. The announcement confirmed news reports over the weekend that Trump had declined a Republic Day invite from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Modi had invited President Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington last year.White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had, in July, said Trump had received an invitation to visit India, but no decision had been taken yet."President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be chief guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019 but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a White House spokesperson told PTI on Monday, when asked about Trump's decision on Modi's invitation.It has been said that the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address to both Houses of the US Congress by Trump was likely to be around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day. The SOTU is normally delivered in the last week of January or first week of February.The White House spokesperson said Trump and Modi enjoyed a strong personal rapport and Trump was committed to deepening the India-US relationship."The president enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi, developed through two meetings and several phone calls, and remains committed to deepening the US-India strategic partnership," the White House spokesperson said."The president very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity," the White House spokesperson said.Modi and Trump are scheduled to attend the G-20 Summit in Argentina on November 30 and December 1. It is possible that the two leaders might meet and discuss bilateral relationship there.Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations.In 2015, then US president Barack Obama had attended it as the chief guest, which was his second visit to India as American president.This year, leaders from 10 ASEAN countries had attended the Republic Day celebrations.In 2016, then French president Francois Hollande was the chief guest of the Republic Day parade, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the celebrations in 2014.The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac.Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday described US President Donald Trump declining India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebration as a diplomatic faux pas saying that it was an avoidable embarrassment for the country."What is important to remember that as and when the Government of India through its Prime Minister invites a foreign Head of State and Government to be the Chief Guest for the Republic Day, it has never been declined and the government takes care to send the invitation only after its assured acceptance that is how diplomatic channels work," Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters here at the party headquarters."It has been a diplomatic faux pas," Sharma said, adding that the invitation should not have been sent in the first place without having an assurance that once it reaches Washington, it will be accepted."It was announced in Delhi, it was announced from Washington and it was also confirmed from White House that the US President has received the invitation. I will say this was an avoidable embarrassment for the Republic of India," the Congress leader said.Slamming the Narendra Modi government, Sharma said, "This government's foreign policy is incoherent, is episodical and Prime Minister Narendra Modi must remember that engagement with major strategic partners cannot be transactional but it must have a ring of continuity, coherence and correctness."Agencies